The goal of learning in any workplace is to be, well, better.
Better at serving customers. Better at increasing efficiency. Better at employee development. Better at staying ahead of the competition.
All of that is achievable with the options in learning today, but how often are we really taking advantage of it?
The learning paths for everyone should include an overall outcome from the start. HOW will learning have an impact on customers? How will we connect the dots between efficient behaviors internally and understanding customers?
Here are a few ideas to help bridge the gap between “I’ve checked the box” learning to “I can’t wait to help our customers achieve more.”
1. Be sure to state why learning is important to your customers.
Then state it again. And again…
In a culture of learning, the message can’t be limited to enforcing individual courses. Yes, you’ll do some of that, but the broader message is much bigger. Learning is something we all should be doing on an ongoing basis to improve our customer experience, as well as ourselves professionally and otherwise.
For example, rather than focusing on an isolated skill, such as building sophisticated spreadsheets or slide decks, get learners to understand why being able to create a fancier spreadsheet or slide deck will connect to a better experience for them and those they serve. It’s not about just learning how to create a pivot table, it’s about providing accurate data swiftly to get to meaningful outcomes. The more learners understand these bigger concepts, the more they will be willing to invest in their own learning and support the continuous learning culture.
2. Tie each step back to your customer experience mission.
The best organizations all march to the beat of one drum – the mission to create a unique and meaningful experience for their customers. They define this in their own ways.
Nike wants to make everyone an athlete. The Ritz-Carlton is a group of ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen. These organizational mantras are more than just words used in new employee training. They are what drive people in everything they do to serve customers.
If you don’t have a customer experience mission, it’s time to create one, even if it’s just for your department. What are you really trying to do for your customers? This isn’t about what you do, it’s about how you make your customers feel.
Instead of explaining a learning path as something that will just help you be a better accountant, help your learners see how learning will help your customers live their missions.
3. Embrace what’s coming next.
In today’s world, we’re already responding to chatbots and doing everything we can on our mobile devices. Artificial intelligence is providing new pathways for customers through virtual assistants on our devices to helping us distill data at lightning speed. Is your learning keeping up?
Learning is a key way to encourage and facilitate innovation within your own organization.
By learning about the amazing “nexts” like AI, Virtual Reality, or the like, you may unlock that big a-ha idea that pushes your organization into the future. Your customers are looking for you to do so, because they are already there.
Learning today is so flexible and exciting. And yet we still have work to do to connect the dots for learners on not just the HOW but also the WHY of learning and customer experience.